Busy Bee Critter Sitters’ Policies and Conditions
Please read the following carefully and fully. By signing our Agreement Form you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions. These policies are subject to change. (Busy Bee Critter Sitters and its employees and independent contractors are also referred to as “we”, “us”, “Busy Bee”, “the service provider” and/or the “sitter/walker”. The client is also referred to as “you”, and/or “the owner”.)
What you can expect us to do:
- Provide you with professional, safe, responsible pet sitting and dog walking that conforms to your personal preferences as much as possible.
- Do our very best to ensure your pet is safe, happy and comfortable while in our care.
- Use our professional discretion to deny your specific requests when we deem it to be unsafe for ourselves, your pet or another person, animal, or property.
- Communicate as completely and clearly as possible with you regarding your pets’ mental and physical well-being, actions, needs, and comfort.
What we expect from you:
- Safe, clean and functional equipment to provide your pet with the necessary care.
- A safe, comfortable and clean working environment (your home/property), and working relationship with you, free from fear of injury, illness, or harassment of any kind.
- Honest and accurate details about your pet including vaccination history, full disclosure of any behavioural or aggression issues, and all necessary details to provide them with care.
- Understanding that while we do our best, at times requests cannot be met, mistakes and mis-communications can be made and that when you and/or your emergency contact cannot be reached decisions may have to made without your input.
Payment & Fees:
- Regular, recurring services will be billed monthly based on services performed. Irregular and set-term pet sitting will be billed in advance based on expected services. Any discrepancies in the final amount owed will result in a credit/debit on your account.
- Advance bills are due at the beginning of the first service listed. Monthly bills are due at the time of receipt.
- Busy Bee reserves the right to suspend all services to clients who have had an outstanding balance for more than 30 days from receipt of the bill, until the bill is paid in full.
- Outstanding balances are subject to interest charges of 1.5% per month.
- All fees and service charges are outlined here. Busy Bee is required by law to collect and remit HST at 13%.
- Any fees related to collection of payment will be reimbursed by the client. This includes, but is not limited to any legal fees, court costs, collection agency fees, interest charges, time and labour for pursuing the collection.
- Busy Bee collects the extra holiday fee on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Bookings and Cancellations:
- Bookings can be made by phone, email or text. You should not consider a booking made until you have received confirmation from Busy Bee Critters Sitters.
- Busy Bee reserves the right to refuse a booking at any time for any reason.
- A consultation and signed agreement form are required before any dog walks or pet visits can take place. Consultations are usually 30-45 minutes in length and ensure that all parties are confident and comfortable with the arrangement.
- Cancellations made with less than 24 hrs notice are subject to a $5 cancellation fee.
- New bookings made with less than 48 hours notice are subject to a $5 cancellation.
- If a sitter/walker arrives for a walk/visit and finds you home and no longer needing the service, without having given notice, the full charge will apply.
- All bookings, cancellations and service changes must be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weather or Staff Illness:
- We provide services regardless of bad weather. In cases of extreme weather, every effort will be made to visit pets in a timely manner. Animals with medical issues will be attended first.
- If the weather is deemed too severe for a safe walk to take place, dogs will be taken out for a quick bathroom break and the remaining time will be spent on indoor activities.
- In cases of staff illness another staff member will take over the walk/visit. In the extremely rare care that no other staff member is available to perform the walk/visit your emergency contact will be contacted and you will be informed as soon as possible.
Pet Health, Emergencies and Vet Visits:
- It is your responsibility to inform Busy Bee Critter Sitters of any special needs your pet has, including but not limited to, medications, supplements, allergies, physical disabilities, medical conditions and diet restrictions.
- We will do everything possible to prevent your pet from eating anything other than foods and treats provided by you, (or by us if allowed), but Busy Bee Critter Sitters is released from all liability related to any injury, illness or vet bills incurred as a result of food, treats or items consumed by your pet while in our care. If you pet is prone to eating dangerous or found items please inform us ahead of time.
- All pets must be up-to-date with vaccinations or a titre test and be free from pests and contagious illnesses.
- We strongly suggest that you inform your vet that we will be providing your pet with care to prevent any issues in case of emergency.
- We will contact you in the event of an emergency in which your pet requires medical treatment.
- You agree to notify us of any and all changes of address, emergency telephone numbers, itineraries or other information reasonably necessary to contact you in the event of an emergency.
- In case of an emergency, we will use your preferred vet/hospital, if one is listed. If your preferred vet/hospital is unavailable, or you have not provided us with one, we use our discretion to obtain alternative medical attention for your pet.
- You’re aware and agree to cover all medical costs and fees associated with your pet being ill or otherwise needing veterinary care. You authorize Busy Bee to make decisions regarding vet care for your pet should you or your emergency contact be unavailable.
- If, after a medical emergency has been dealt with, the veterinarian requests a monitoring schedule that requires more visits per day that those previously arranged by you as part of the assignment, we will arrange to provide the added service. The regular rate for each additional visit will apply.
- Busy Bee Critter Sitters will never share any personal, contact or trip information of yours with anyone except the sitters and/or walkers who will be responsible for your pet, the person(s) listed as your emergency contact, and, if necessary, any vets or veterinary practice employees involved in the care of your pet.
- If you would like anyone other than Busy Bee, the veterinarian’s office, and your emergency contact to have access to your information, please provide them with it before leaving for your trip.
- Photos of your pet(s) may be used on our website, social media, promotional materials, and for other advertising purposes if you have given your consent on the agreement form.
- If there is particular information about your pet that you prefer not be shared with others (people at dog parks, captions on picture etc.) please let us know. Otherwise we reserve the right to share information such as age, sex, breed, and name with whomever we chose.
- Busy Bee Critter Sitters will attempt to provide at least one update per day (on which a visit or walk has taken place) sent to the email address provided at the consultation.
- Though we will do our best to send out your update promptly after a visit/walk is completed, we make no guarantees that updates will be sent within a certain time period after the completion of the visit/walk. Lack of an update is not an indication that your visit has not been completed, and completed visits without an update will still appear on your bill.
- When at all possible the update will include a picture of your pet(s). We make no guarantees as to the quality or content of these pictures, nor do we guarantee that a picture will always be available.
- It is the client’s responsibility to update any and all contact information via phone, text or email. Busy Bee is not responsible for a client not receiving updates due to incorrect contact information or a change in contact information.
- Contact information gathered through the updates (emails and phone numbers of Busy Bee’s employees and contractors) is not to be shared or abused. If you have questions or concerns regarding the care of your pet, contact us immediately. Busy Bee Employees and independent contractors of Busy Bee Critter Sitters will pass on any communication they deem to be inappropriate, aggressive, accusatory or overly demanding to management.
- Bookings and cancellations should be made through the contact information here and not through any contact information collected from updates (emails and phone numbers of Busy Bee’s employees and contractors). Walkers/sitters do not have the responsibility, access or authority to change or cancel bookings, and bookings not cancelled through main Busy Bee contact methods will still appear on your bill.
Injury, Risk, and Liability:
- You agree that you are solely liable for medical care expenses and all damage to persons, animal or property caused by your pet(s). You will be responsible for the actions of your pet(s) if they cause any damage whatsoever, including but not limited to damage or injury to other dogs, people or property while in the care of Busy Bee Critter Sitters.
- While Busy Bee’s walkers/sitters will always do their best to protect your pet from injury, you acknowledge that there are reasonable risks involved with walking dogs off-property and that small cuts, scrapes, bruises and other minor injuries may be a part of participating in dog walking services.
- You also acknowledge that that are even further risks associated with off-leash and group walks and that by agreeing to participate in these programs you release Busy Bee from any liability associated with injury, illness or loss suffered as a result of these programs.
- We will take all appropriate actions to ensure that your pet is not placed in the company of aggressive or violent animals and/or will immediately remove your pet from any animal fight to the best of our ability.
- You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary municipal licenses and registrations for your pet(s). Busy Bee Critter Sitters will not be responsible for any fees or citations against your pet for being found to have incorrect or insufficient licenses or tags while in the care of Busy Bee Critter Sitters.
- We agree to maintain insurance coverage at all times, and – upon request – permit you to view our Certificate of Insurance. Any claim by you for loss or damage must be limited to the insurance coverage provided to us by our insurer at the time of the incident.
- We will not accept liability for damages, except when we are negligent or demonstrate wilful misconduct. This applies: when your pet experiences a medical complication, an injury, or passes away; during emergency transportation, treatment, shelter, or care; if any of your plants becomes infested, receives too much or too little sun exposure, or is under-watered when your instructions are followed; or when damages arise from the actions/inactions of someone else of your choosing who is not a Busy Bee Critter Sitter but with whom we are sharing an assignment because you requested it.
- Please remember that animal behaviour and health can be extremely unpredictable, and that plant health is highly volatile and fragile. We will make every effort to care for these as if they were our own.
Pet Sitting and Home Care:
- When you return home, please contact us so we know your pets are back under your care. We are not responsible for ensuring that you have returned. If you require additional visits due to a travel delay you must notify us as soon as possible. It is possible that additional fees for last-minute bookings will apply.
- You must notify us if there will be anyone else with access to your home during your absence. We are not responsible for any damage to your home or pet(s) by said visitor(s). Pet sitters may call the police if they observe there has been access to your home that we have not been informed of.
- We’re not responsible for wilted, dead or otherwise unhealthy plants. We will work hard to follow written instructions as precisely as possible, but cannot be responsible if the results are not favourable to you. Please place all indoor plants together on a waterproof surface in plain sight as we are not responsible for water-damaged areas or missed plants.
- We’re not responsible for damage to the home beyond our control. This includes, but is not limited to: electrical problems, leaks, and acts of nature. All repairs to home and related fees will be paid by you or fully reimbursed to us within seven (7) days of your return date.
- We’re not liable for any loss or damage in the event of a burglary or other crime that should occur while under agreement. You agree to secure your home prior to leaving the premises. We will attempt to re-secure the home according to your instructions at the end of each visit.
- You’re responsible for pet-proofing your house and yard (if applicable).
- Busy Bee Critter Sitters will only let cats outside if expressly requested by you and will not be responsible for ensuring that the cat is back inside by a certain time. We will not be responsible for any injury, loss, death or illness suffered by cats that are allowed to go outside while under our care. We highly recommend that all cats are kept indoors for the duration of your vacation.
Equipment and Home Environment:
- Busy Bee will use the equipment and products provided by you (the pet owner) as indicated at your consultation. This may include, but is not limited to, leashes, collars, harnesses, pet dishes, brushes, food, litter, and treats. Busy Bee is not responsible for bringing any equipment to your home when providing walks or visits. By signing up for our services you agree to provide all of this equipment as well as a safe, clean, comfortable environment for the walker/sitter.
- We reserve the right to refuse to participate in any walk/visit that we feel does not have the equipment necessary to have a safe, secure walk/visit for the walker/sitter and/or your pet, or which takes place in a home environment that we feel is not safe and secure for the walker/sitter and/or your pet.
- You are responsible for leaving enough of the supplies necessary for your pets’ care to cover your entire absence (whether long- or short-term). This is especially important for medications. Busy Bee Critter Sitters will be fully reimbursed for any products or supplies that we need to restock due to an inadequate supply. This includes but is not limited to: food, litter, medications and supplements, or equipment that is damaged, or ceases to function. In these cases we will do our best to provide the same products as you, but if this is not possible a similar product will be used.
Keys and Home Access:
- You are responsible for providing us with access to your home be this a key, code, by leaving your home unlocked, or some other means.
- Please ensure that we have all the codes necessary to disarm any alarms, or that alarms are left disarmed. We are not responsible for fees you may incur for alarms going off when we were not given instructions on how to disarm them.
- All keys provided to Busy Bee Critter Sitters will be labelled with your pet’s name and kept in a secure lockbox between assignments.
- During assignments keys will be retained by the sitters/walkers who are responsible for your pet’s visits/walks.
- If you agree to leave a key/unlocked door and we arrive at your home and access has not been provided we will attempt to contact you and/or your emergency contact, but if no one can be reached, the visit/walk will not be completed and you will be responsible for the full visit fee.
- At any time Busy Bee Critter Sitters reserves the right to attach a temporary, secure lockbox to your door to facilitate transfers of keys between walkers/sitters. This box will be removed by the time you return and the code will only be given to those sitters/walkers who need access to the box.
- In the case of a missing or lost key, we will contact you and/or your emergency contact to arrange alternate access to your home. You are welcome to provide us with two keys if you wish and one will always be kept in our lockbox as an emergency backup.
- If you use our services more than once we recommend providing us with a key that we can keep between assignments. This removes the need to pay for a key pick-up/drop-off each time you book in, enables us to do emergency visits (may be subject to late booking fees) and provide you with an emergency key in case you become locked-out (may be subject to a key drop-off/pick-up fee).
Behavioural Issues and Aggression:
- It is the client’s responsibility to reveal any known behavioural or aggression issues of any kind to Busy Bee at the time of the consultation, as well as any known citations filed against the animal for any bites or attacks in the past.
- While we often take on clients with pets with behavioural issues or aggression, we reserve the right not to participate in any walk/visit which we deem to be unsafe for the walker/sitter, the pet(s), other people, animals or property.
- While we are always open to conforming to the safe training techniques you use when we are with your pet, Busy Bee Critter Sitters is not a training service and will not provide training for your pet.
- In cases of aggression we may require that certain equipment be made available (e.g. a muzzle). See “Equipment and Home Environment” above.
- We are not responsible for any damage caused by your pet(s) to your home or property due to separation anxiety or stress caused by your absence.
Cleanliness and Grooming:
- Busy Bee will do its best to remove mud, dirt, salt and snow from dogs before returning them to your home. It is recommended that you leave a towel by the door for this purpose. Busy Bee is not, however, responsible for ensuring that dogs be bathed, groomed or cleaned beyond a reasonable amount after walks.
- We are not responsible for any damage to your property or possessions as a result of anything tracked into the home by your pet(s).
- Busy Bee will do their best to keep your home tidy and clean while caring for your pet(s) performing tasks such as sweeping around litter areas and washing food and water bowls. Busy Bee will not perform any cleaning tasks beyond those which are necessary to care for your pets.
- If at any time Busy Bee is required to stay at your home for longer than the allotted visit/walk length due to an unusual amount of cleaning (such as an accident from a pet, vomit, or the pet spilling something, destroying something or knocking something over), or for any other reason, you will be charged an additional fee of $15 per hour.
- Busy Bee will not be responsible for providing any cleaning supplies. We will do our best to clean up pet messes with the cleaning products we can find available but are not responsible for any damage or staining resulting from insufficient or incorrect products, insufficient cleaning, or pet messes that occur after our visits are complete.
Additional Terms and Conditions:
- Busy Bee Critter Sitters will report all bite incidents as required by law. We will also report any instances we observe of animal neglect, cruelty or suffering.